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Independence Patriots of the Month – February view
Independence Patriots of the Month – February
Date 2007-02-07 오후 4:28:44 View 1810
Independence Patriots of the Month – February

- Kim Kwang-je (1866.7.1~1920.7.24) & Seo Sang-don (1850.11.10~1913.6.30) -

Patriots who staged Enlightenment Movement through "the Redemption of the National Debt Movement" in 1907.


Kim Kwang-je filed a petition against the Eulsa Treaty with the emperor Gojong of Korea while serving as superintendent general of Dongrae District in 1905, calling for the impeachment of pro-Japanese collaborators and rooting out of corruption in the Korean empire. His petition was rejected and he was sent into exile, but he moved to Daegu to stage the Patriotic Enlightenment Movement with Seo Sang-don by establishing a publishing company called "Kwangmunsa."

Seo Sang-don was born to a Christian family in Kimcheon and he made a great fortune by doing a business. He took the charge of finance of "Dokniphyeophwoi" or the Independence Association and protested Japanese intervention in the national affairs and made efforts to safeguard the sovereignty and improve human rights in Korea since he joined "Manmin gongdonghoe" or convocation of ten thousand people.

Especially, Kim and Seo were engaged in enlightenment movement of the Korean people by publishing books on new knowledge of other nations and practical science and disseminating the philosophy of modernism and self-reliant strength. Then, acknowledging that Korea was facing a crisis because Korea was heavily indebted, they staged "the Redemption of the National Debt Movement" in 1907.

Afterwards, Kim built "Ilshin School" in Manchuria and taught students patriotism and also involved in the second version of the March 1 Independence Movement in 1920 died in the same year.

When "the Redemption of the National Debt Movement" turned out to be failure due to the oppression of the imperialist Japan in 1907, Seo died in 1913 after dedicating himself to strengthening of our people by fostering business.

Kim and Seo were awarded "Aejok Jang" (the Order of National Pride) in 1990 and 1999 respectively.

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